Scope of Practice for student nurses

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Andy Pisk Andy Pisk 2 years, 11 months ago.

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    Is there a scope of practice for student nurses. Please advise.


    Yes there is. Nursing schools dictate what they will allow their students to do and what they wont allow their students to do. Typically they wont let you do a task until you have been trained on how to do it properly, such as starting IVs. After you learn this skill, you will be able to start IVs on patients, and it is in your scope of practice, but pity the poor nursing student who starts an IV on a patient because the hospital nurse they are working with that day told her to, not knowing that skill hadn’t been covered yet and the student had never done one.

    Here is a good article on scope of practice which will serve you well during nursing school and later on as a nurse. As a general rule, if you were trained to do something in school, or as part of an on the job training program, it is in your scope of practice, but keep in mind, your clinical instructor and dean of nursing at your school will dictate what you can do as a nursing student, not necessarily the nurses you are working with.

    Profile photo of snowfury

    There may be more than one standard. I work in a teaching hospital, and often work with student nurses. In addition to the guidelines set by the nursing schools, our hospital has its own set of standards defining what student nurses may do, and under what circumstances. A good rule of thumb to start with is to never attempt to do something you have not done before without some guidance or supervision from an RN or your instructor.
    I hope this helps!


    When you get out in the real world, be careful of the policies and procedures allowed at each facility even within the same state. At my previous hospital, the RNs drew the ABGs, while at my current hospital, in the same state, only RTs or MDs can draw arterial blood. What may be legal scope of practice, may not be facility policy.

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